elcome to Teaching, a weekly newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education. This week’s edition was curated by Beckie. We’ll begin with some tips on using a “naïve task” to pique students’ curiosity that I picked up at a conference I attended last week. Next, Beth shares readers’ responses on the training — or lack thereof — they received to teach online. We’ll finish off with a calendar update and a book recommendation.
I n February, The New York Times reported the impressive results of a new study showing that “diet quality, not quantity” was the key to weight loss. Focusing on eating plenty of vegetables and unprocessed foods was a better strategy than counting calories, according to the JAMA study, in which more than 600 people adopted one of two healthy diets for a year. Near the end of the article, however, was a strange caveat: People in both groups had consumed fewer calories than they normally would have. Suddenly, the article’s claims about quality versus quantity seemed suspect.
In reading how the study was conducted, I began to realize: The takeaway here wasn’t about diets; it was about teaching.
When Kelly Hogan learned that minority students got worse grades than white students in her classes, she saw it as her problem to fix.
Kelly A. Hogan had no reason to think anything was wrong with her teaching. She had been hired at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of a push to bring in teaching-oriented professors who would improve undergraduate education. And, on the face of it, Hogan was delivering on expectations: She received glowing course evaluations from students, who complimented her teaching style.
Then, about a decade ago, a colleague who was researching large courses, including Biology 101, for which Hogan taught half of the sections, shared some troubling data: About one in 14 white students earned a D or F in the course. About one in seven Latino/a students received those grades. For black students, it was one in three.
The first professor whom students encounter in a discipline is likely to play a big role in whether they continue in it.
Introductory courses can open doors for students, helping them not only discover a love for a subject area that can blossom into their major but also feel more connected to their campus.
But on many campuses, teaching introductory courses typically falls to less-experienced instructors. Sometimes the task is assigned to instructors whose very connection to the college is tenuous. A growing body of evidence suggests that this tension could have negative consequences for students.
Two papers presented at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting in New York on Sunday support this idea.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison employs over 2,000 teaching assistants across a wide variety of disciplines. The contributions of TAs in the classroom, lab, studio, and field are essential to the University’s education mission. In order to recognize excellence on the part of TAs across campus, each year the College of Letters & Science, with support […]